Saturday, August 16, 2014

School Locker Boxes

It's been a great, busy summer.  We've got lots to blog about but thought we'd dive right into SCHOOL fun.  My kids would not necessarily put school and fun in the same sentence but here we go...
Thought I'd share a little school idea-Locker Boxes.

My daughter is beginning her 7th grade year in Jr. High.  She has a brand new Jr. High to attend with pristine new lockers.  We're a little nervous about the new locks on the lockers and hope they won't be a problem.  You know those recurring dreams that you're late for class and your locker won't open...
Well once it's open, it's pure fun!

We shopped for some locker decor at several stores.  I was amazed at the selection that was being offered.  Everything from wall paper to chandeliers...for a LOCKER!  We decided on a magnetic mirror, pencil cup and a cute frame with a "Don't forget to be AWESOME today" quote.

Then we thought it might be nice to put together a locker box...for those 7th grade emergencies.

This two sided plastic organizer was found at Hobby Lobby.  One side is school supplies, the other side contains treats to share.

We didn't want to leave my 10th grade son out so we created a "non-cutsie" version of the locker box.  All he wanted were mints and more mints with a few peach rings....oh and a huge box of fishy crackers.

We are set at least for a few weeks!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tiny Fruit Tarts-MMMmmm Monday

Served these delicious fruit tarts at a Bridal Shower a couple of weeks ago.  They were delicious finger food and so Summery.
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"These two-bite desserts make for easy eating and no mess."  
Recipe came from Karry Hosford, St. Francisville, La.

Tiny Fruit Tarts
1 (9.5 ounce) package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese of cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons pow. sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Remove pastry cups from package and break along scored lines.  Place cups on an ungreased baking sheet with the circle cut-outs up.  Bake 20 min. or until golden brown and puffed.  Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, press down into centers of hot pastry cups to create fillable centers.
3.  Combine strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
4.  Beat mascarpone, 4 tbsp. pow. sugar, vanilla and lemon rind with mixer until light and fluffy.  Spoon mixture into the bottom of pastry cups; top with strawberry mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar.  Makes 24 tarts.

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Monday, June 30, 2014


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Grilled Corn, Avacado and Tomato Salad 
with Honey Lime Dressing
from For the Love of Cooking

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avacado
2 ears fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Honey Lime Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to tast
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 min.  The corn should have some brown spots and be tender but not mushy.  Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices.  Set aside and let cool.  Slice the tomatoes in half.  Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.

Honey Lime Dressing:
1.  Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Set Aside.
2.  Combine sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn with honey lime dressing.  Mix gently so everything is evenly coated.  Be careful not to mash the avocados.  Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle.  Serve with tortilla chips or by the spoonful!

Another favorite...

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Mom's Famous Potato Salad
This is one of those old family recipes that has been handed down through the generations.  Every potato salad I'm served never is as good as Mom's.  

6-7 potatoes
3 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup dill pickle

9 Tbsp. water
9 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. Coleman's Dry Mustard
salt (to taste)
3 Tbsp. flour
Cool Whip
Miracle Whip

Boil potatoes.  Peel and cube after they cool.  Hard boil eggs for 10 minutes.  Mix potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, and pickle.  To make dressing mix water, vinegar, sugar, eggs, mustard, salt and flour.  Heat in microwave 2-3 min. until like pudding.  Add 1/3 of the mixture (save remaining mixture or double batch) to 1/3 cool whip to 1/3 miracle whip (1 cup each).  Gently toss all ingredients with dressing.  Top with sliced egg and paprika for decoration (if desired).  Chill for a couple of hours.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Orange Creme Dessert-MMMmmm Monday

Orange Crème Dessert (or Salad)

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1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 pkg. graham crackers
¾ cup butter or margarine-melted
1/c cup sugar

Combine/press ¾ of mixture in 9x13 pan. 

4-6 oz. slightly frozen O.J.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Then add:
3 cans mandarin oranges (drained)
8 oz. cool whip

Spread over graham/Ritz crust.  Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top.  Better if refrigerated overnight.  It makes a great frozen dessert too!

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Flap IT, Fill IT, then Roll IT--Girls Camp Roll

I just sent my youngest daughter off to a week long Girls Camp today.  She has been looking forward to this day for years.  She's watched several siblings leave and  then come back with great stories of adventures and fun.  And now it's her turn!  (Not sure how I feel about letting her go...)

I try and send something special with my kids when they leave me behind!  Maybe because I want them to remember me when they are having so much fun...without me.  I just send food with my son, and he's good with that.  My daughters...well I try and create something special for them.  

This year my mom (she's the seamstress) and I created this for Kate.  A Camp Roll.  A rolled up piece of fabric with slots for the necessities of camp living.

Start with a piece of fabric you like, or in my case fabric my daughter liked.  She didn't know she was picking out her own fabric because it was a secret.  We took a pattern from a makeup brush fabric roll I've had for years. It was perfect.  Make sure it's long enough to fold a flap for the slots.

Bind the sides with coordinating fabric (not necessary but nice if you know how).  
Flap it, fill it, then roll it.

Tie a pretty ribbon around it to keep secure.  We used the sewing machine to attach the ribbon for extra security...not necessary.

In one of the pouches I slipped a note from mom with suggestions for a great camp experience.  
Here are a few:

1. Obey with Exactness...we talk about that all the time don’t we.  If your leaders ask you to do something, do it.  They want you to have a great time too!
2. your sleeping bag, in the shower and any other place you get a private moment.
3. Get the sleep you need.  Have fun but get a little sleep or you will find the next day kind of hard...hiking, swimming, eating, certifying, etc. can all be exhausting if you’re not getting a little sleep.
4. Remember to eat the healthy stuff too!
5. Be kind to others...even if they are not so kind to you...that includes the leaders.  They are working hard for you...and probably miss their families too.
6. Find special moments to think about your testimony of our Savior.  Listen to your you have devotionals?  Share some of your thoughts with close friends.  Help their testimonies grow as well.
7. Wear flip flops in the shower! 
8. Take the time to observe nature.  You will have many opportunities to see the Lord’s hand in your life as you look will find calm and peace. 

Remember to fit in a few of their favorite treats to go along with the toothbrush, toothpaste and flashlight.

Whoooo... Loves Camp?  I hope Kate does!

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Fruit and Nut White Chocolate Bark-MMMmmm Monday

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While driving to one of my many destinations, I was talking with my sister Carri on the (hands-free) phone.  I was concentrating on the road until Carri started telling me about this yummy white chocolate bark she had just made.  I have to admit I was distracted for a moment.  Luckily I was about to park the car before I started conjuring up this yummy chocolate recipe in my mind.  As luck would have it I just happened to be right next to a Sunflower Market (the land of nuts and fruits!) so I immediately went inside and bought the ingredients for this scrumptious white chocolate snack.  I am trying to eat healthy snacks...does this count?

Fruit and Nut White Chocolate Bark

2 pkgs. white chocolate chips (I prefer Guittard)
1 cup dry roasted almonds
1 cup salted cashews
1 cup dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup yogurt covered cranberries
Sea Salt

Mix all fruit and nuts in a bowl.  Set aside.  Melt white chocolate chips in microwave (2 min.) and then spread onto parchment covered cookie sheet.  Sprinkle fruit and nut mixture over the top of chocolate.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Let bark set and become firm (several hours) and then crack to create bark.  Store in refrigerator.

*Substitute your favorite nuts and fruits.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kate's Lemonade Stand OPEN For Business

My children are constantly looking for ways to earn a little cash.  They have big dreams of constant fun and wishes for new electronic gadgets.  My husband and I try hard to encourage "work hard, play hard."  Sometimes it PAYS off!  

Kate decided the only way she was going to earn the money she needed/wanted for all the summer camps she was looking to attend was to open her lemonade stand.  We live in an area with lots of great kids looking for places to hang out and have fun.    

The lemonade stand is open twice weekly throughout the summer months from 1-4PM.  Kate kicks back in a big lounge chair under her shade umbrella and reads a good book until customers start arriving.  I've noticed that after the first friend comes by many more start to join.  Sometimes we have a little crowd on the front lawn sipping lemonade and slushies.  

We have one young man that comes often for bags of cookies.

Kate has already learned a few being that some of the profits have to replenish products that were previously sold out.  She was a little shocked by that business principle!

The lemonade stand was made from old wooden pallets (most often free of charge).  The stand can either be for small or taller children depending on the way you set the pallet.  Two fold-out boards hold the stand upright and stable.  A little paint and few spare pieces of wood you've got yourself an official summer business!


The customers have offered their opinions...
"This is reeeealy good!"  We aim to please!

Some friends have asked if they could sell their goodies at the lemonade stand.  Kate thought about it for a bit and then realized she could feature "Gracie's Homemade Cookies" and that would bring in more business...for a cut of the profit.  Kate is developing a little entrepreneurial spirit.  
Gotta love it.

Bring on the summer fun!

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